social anthropology

The Politics of Names and Naming in India

Dr Jacob Copeman


This research project analyzes the hitherto under-explored significance of naming practices in respect of caste and religion in India, with a particular focus on the names given to persons. Though frequently stigmatizing, caste names can be treated inventively: hidden, changed, or subject to revaluation. The project aims to explore historical strategies of naming and renaming whilst also bringing the study squarely into the present: what can naming strategies tell us about Indian society in a time of expedited social change?

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